Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a recent interview that while he finds Holocaust denial content posted on Facebook to be disgusting, the social media platform will not remove such content, resulting in blowback from Jewish organizations.
"I just don't think that it is the right thing to say we're going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times".
Zuckerberg was also pushed by Swisher regarding the Cambridge Analytica debacle to hold someone at the company accountable to which he replied, "But look, I designed the platform, so if someone's going to get fired for this, it should be me". He said, "I think you can bet that, if the government here is anxious about - whether it's election interference or terrorism - I don't think Chinese companies are going to want to cooperate as much and aid the national interest there".
As an example, Zuckerberg raised the issue of Holocaust denial - a stance which he has said he personally finds repugnant, yet one that would be allowed on the site if it didn't explicitly incite violence (albeit in a significantly de-prioritized state).
One of the most baffling moments of the almost 90 minute interview on the Recode Decode podcast was a moment when Facebook's CEO defended the rights of holocaust deniers on his platform. "No Holocaust, fake news!".
He explained: "Our goal with fake news is not to prevent anyone from saying something untrue - but to stop fake news and misinformation spreading across our services".
Mark Zuckerberg Clarifies Remark About Holocaust Deniers Following Online Furor
Days after Facebook announced its push to promote reliable news back in January, the company acknowledged the possibility that social media can have negative ramifications for democracy.
If something is deemed to be fake, he said, it might remain on the site but it would be pushed down in the news feed so fewer people would see it.
Following an immediate backlash, Zuckerberg tried to clarify his comments.
The Anti-Defamation League said it was challenging Facebook on its position, calling on the company to regard Holocaust denial as a violation of its rules. Just as Facebook does not allow posts that espouse violence, it should not allow users to defend the most horrific genocide in our history: the Holocaust.
Facebook has faced criticism over the way the platform can amplify false reports and has been engaged in an advertising campaign both on- and offline declaring: "Fake new is not your friend".
Some analysts said Facebook faces a hard task in seeking to filter out misinformation and calls to violence and conform with regulations on hate speech in various countries while still remaining an open platform that allows free speech.